Ugetab

April 25th, 2009
LiquidManZero: 
How did you get into game hacking, and what do you recall as being the earliest thing you hacked?

ugetab: 
I'd say the first overall console game hacking I did involved a flash of inspiration several years ago that the same program I used to hack Castle of the Winds saved games could be used on Emulator Save-States, and I spent a lot of time on it from there.
As for the earliest thing I hacked, I'd only be guessing, but I suspect it was Final Fantasy 3 SNES, using UGE to edit Save-States.
Nothing new, just stats and such.
I didn't actually touch Assembly Hacking until IAmStillHiro1112 showed me to GSHI, where I believe it was Gradius Invincibility I made.


LiquidManZero: 
What or perhaps who would you say was a major influence starting out? Also, is there anybody you would say you looked up to at the time?

ugetab: 
I can't really cite any person influencing me to start trying to make codes. I saw that other people made codes, wanted to do it, then tried to do it myself when I came upon a method of code finding that fit my mentality. I can't claim any hero-worshipping in any field that I can think of.
IAmStillHiro1112 and GSHI convinced me to take the leap from just doing what I had figured out on my own to actually trying to learn about how to do things from other people.


LiquidManZero: 
What would you say is the hack you are most proud of having done?

ugetab: I took some time to think of this before, and oddly enough, I believe it would be any of the multi-code-set All Item codes, like for Star Ocean, or Rudra no Hihou. I've done harder codes, and even better codes, but for some reason, All Item hacks top my list of personal achievements.


LiquidManZero: 
What of other people's hacking do you consider to be the most interesting?

ugetab: 
I'm generally impressed with some of the larger-scale hacking efforts that I can't seem to achieve, like time intensive translations, or information intensive code rewrites for PSF hacking. As far as actual codes go, CzarDragon's FF7 Debug Room code was quite interesting to me as far as what it allowed. I suspect I'm not really aware enough of the specifics of other people's codes to be impressed with their function.


LiquidManZero: 
What's your favorite type of thing to hack?

ugetab: 
I generally like to find back-dooring techniques into any problem I come across, particularly the types of codes that seems infeasable or codes others have tried and found hard to make. I had fun hacking Quake 2 powerup codes and imagining Viper187's eyes bugging out when he brought it up as an example of tough N64 hacking, and I pointed out the codes to him. In general, I've found I like to figure out music routines in exchange for easy access to the music itself, and I usually go after nick-nack codes like the # of Cats modifier in Chrono Trigger. I suppose I'm not too different from other hackers in my hacking choices.


LiquidManZero: 
What would you say is the most difficult sort of hack, and what gives you that impression?

ugetab: 
The most difficult hacks are those that rely on a large number of distinct memory addresses, and more than 2 or 3 assembly routines to accomplish. Making dynamic music modifiers for a game called Rocket Robot on Wheels, as well as a few other examples that I can't think of, make me believe this to be the case. A Gameboy game called Rayman has code and memory usage so convoluted that I haven't even gotten 1 song going right when I've tried ripping it.


LiquidManZero: 
What's the most unpleasant thing about hacking?

ugetab: 
I think it's that you end up getting so little out of it besides the code, or rip, or whatever if is you're trying to make. Sometimes you could care less if someone notices you did something when you're doing it for yourself, but filling requests for people gets old quick if they're just killing their time and yours, and don't think much of your efforts. Code thieves are also pretty bad, but I don't have to deal with them often enough to think it outweighs an overall attitude of requesters.


LiquidManZero: 
What game was the most entertaining to hack?

ugetab: 
I'd have to peg Final Fantasy 3 SNES as the most entertaining, because of how it's structured, combined with how many small details there are to abuse to get more interesting codes. It's straight forward when you get to the assembly, which seems to create some challenges by itself.


LiquidManZero: 
Did you ever hack a good code, or find an address in memory that would've yielded an awesome code, but then lost it somehow?

ugetab: 
I've lost codes and addresses pretty often, but I don't usually let them stay lost. A side effect of not being able to let go of a situation effectively. I did lose a set of PAR-based No Random Battle codes for Shin Megami Tensei, but I ended up replacing them sort of recently with a Game Genie version that used less codes. I also lost some codes due to a laptop killing the drive, and because no computer BIOS is able to recognize the drive, and because replacing the board didn't fix it.


LiquidManZero: 
What was the most difficult hack you've ever accomplished?

ugetab: 
It's really hard for me to remember what would be considered the hardest successful hacking endeavor. My way of getting codes usually makes it so the hardest codes are the ones that take the longest time.
In that respect, I think the first Super Mario RPG SA1 code I did, 'Always Speed to Finish Line with 1 Cookie' qualifies as the hardest due to having to figure out so much stuff over so much time.


LiquidManZero: 
Were there any codes that you attempted to hack but didn't work right?

ugetab: 
The first thing that comes to mind is that I could never get Seiken Densetsu 3's Instantly Kill Enemies code to work correctly. It didn't work in trap rooms, and other things worked wrong because of it, such as boss fights.


LiquidManZero: 
In your time off from hacking, what sort of things do you do?

ugetab: 
I do some hacking with OllyDbg and IDA that evolved from my use of emulator debugging, and do some computer fixing in general, mostly on the software side of understanding. I still like to do emulator-related activities a bit more on average though.


LiquidManZero: 
What do you think is required for the video game hacking scene to continue to thrive?

ugetab: 
New emulators/features, new people with new ideas, and new reasons to try to invent ways to use emulators. It's just got to be fresh from one perspective or another. Tired of playing? Hack. Tired of codes? Rip music.
Tired of music? Do a TAS. Tired of TASing? Try to find what everyone's going to want to do after they're done trying to TAS games.


LiquidManZero: 
A final question. If you had one thing to say to all hackers, what would it be?

ugetab: 
You succeed in hacking when you approach multiple problems through success and failure as though the benefit of achieving the outcome you want outweighs the cost of learning how to deal with the problems.